Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy and Armed Citizens (Or the Lack Thereof)

chicagomag.com offers a profile of Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy. The not-so-puffy puff piece piece focused on the top cop’s inability to reduce Chicago’s soaring murder rate. “Two months after McCarthy arrived, the murder toll—the stat by which police superintendents are most judged—began to inch upward. And after a brief winter respite, violence surged in March of this year. Through June 17, police reported 240 homicides, a 38 percent increase over the same period in 2011 . . .

The situation is particularly worrisome in light of statistics that show the number of murders and shootings starting to level off before McCarthy and Emanuel took over.

Chicago Magazine should expect a call from Hizzoner’s PR thugs any minute now. Meanwhile and needless to say the increase in Windy City rub-outs is all about the gangs . . .

McCarthy’s citywide gang audit, completed in May, shows that Chicago now has 59 active street gangs with 625 factions. That’s up from 500 factions and 68 gangs in 2003. This continued fracturing of the local gangs, McCarthy believes, is the reason for the rash of recent violence.

Notice that the author updates the gang stats by listing factions first, then the total number of gangs. ‘Cause otherwise you’d focus on the fact that there are LESS Chicago gangs now than at the start of McCarthy’s tenure but MORE murders.

There’s a reason for that! The Chief and his minions would have you believe less is more because their crime fighting is working—too well.

The splintering stems from a lack of leadership; many of the highest-ranking chiefs are in prison or dead. “We took the generals out, and we now have the gangs being run by sergeants,” explains Leo Schmitz, the commander of the Englewood District (7th). “Instead of having an area, now they have blocks.” This means increased rivalry—and, as a result, more shootings.

Schmitz describes an adversary who is younger, more reckless, and more likely to pull a trigger. “Young people are making very quick decisions,” he says, “and most of the time they are the wrong ones.”

Bad boys bad boys whatcha gonna do?

The audit information has become the foundation for McCarthy’s plan to combat gangs, informing a new computer system that puts updated intelligence in the hands of beat officers. Additional tactics include a new ballistics unit to aid in building criminal cases, the call-ins between gang members and officers, and the shutting down of liquor stores that double as hangouts. “This is not a new problem,” McCarthy said at a May 29 news conference, discussing his gang strategy. “What it is, is a new solution that we’re applying to it.”

Attacking free enterprise. Yeah, that ought to do it. Hey, at least Chief McCarthy isn’t resorting to outright thuggery like they did back in the day, which Chicago describes in an entirely wistful not-to-say loving sort of way . . .

One thing that McCarthy can’t do, however, is rely on units that specialize in fighting gangs . . .

Several former specialized-unit officers interviewed for this story recall the way gang members knew them by their unit number, say, a 42 or 44 on their cars. “They feared us,” one says. “I’m not trying to be arrogant. It’s just that when you’d pull somebody over, you’d see them looking. They’d see the unit number and put their hands on their car.”

For some communities, aggressive cops, known as “jump out boys,” represented the worst of the department. Revelations in 2006 that some officers robbed and kidnapped residents, and the accusations a year later that one officer plotted to murder another, bolstered that point of view.

McCarthy believes that specialization is the enemy of community policing—an idea that took root long before he came to Chicago. “With specialization, those guys have zero connection to the community,” he says. “They offend a lot of people because not everybody is a perp.”

Wow. Talk about a psychological breakthrough. Thanks for sharing that with the group Garry. Does anyone else want to talk about their feelings about the community they serve and protect? Commander Burge?

Here’s my main point: thanks to Chicago’s gun control laws, everyone in Chicago who isn’t a perp is a potential victim of gang-related violence and intimidation. More to the point, they are entirely reliant entirely on the Chicago police to “tackle” violent crime.

Wrong answer. To stem the rising tide of criminality in Chicago the community must take responsibility for policing itself.

I know that concept flies in the face of Chicago machine politics and Big Government beneficence. But there it is: a truly effective anti-crime plan encourages law-abiding members of the community to stand up against unlawful behavior with the police and judicial system behind them.

Do citizens need a gun to do that? Accepted wisdom says no, of course not. Policing for the people, not by the people. That would encourage . . . vigilantes! Besides, it takes a village to fight gang culture, aided by really expensive social programs (including unaccountable “interrupters“). As for the actual crime, it’s best to leave lethal force to the professionals (e.g., Commander Burge). Etc.

At the risk of seeming like a “gun rights extremist”(that’s MR gun Rights Extremist to you Rahm), I say yes, Chicago citizens do need firearms to counter crime in their community.

If nothing else, restoring Chicago residents’ right to keep and bear arms would signal a profound psychological shift from us (the community) vs. them (the gangs) with them (the police) attempting to protect us (the community) from them (the gangs) while alienating us (the community) from them (the police); to us (the community and the police) vs. them (the gangs).

See how much simpler that is? I’m not sure how many armed civilians Chicago would need to make an appreciable difference in the balance of power, disrupting the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, drugs and violence. But I reckon we should find out.

comments

  1. avatar matt says:

    The current plan is to try to buy off the gangs. Chicago just gave a 1 million dollar grant to Ceasefire, which is ran by former top ranking gang members.

    1. avatar matt says:

      According to a CPD blog, two Ceasefire members were recently arrested for possession of crack and heroin, 30 rocks and 40 bags, enough that they were likely still dealing.

      http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/index.html#9123825134759740904

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      The “former” top ranking gang members aren’t former. They are merely senior management who play the legitimate broker and are part of the Chicago Democratic Party machine. The City is just calling on them to damp down the violence to an acceptable level. The money is just a payoff to secure their cooperation.

      Chicago — What anarchy looks like.

      1. avatar matt says:

        I wish. If there was anarchy here I could carry a gun.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          If there were anarchy you would be lying in the street dead.

        2. avatar matt says:

          so everyone would be lying in the street dead, or just me? how so?

        3. avatar tdiinva says:

          My gut feeling is that you are a pretty good guy (no matter how many rude things I have said to you in the past) and I don’t think you have the ruthlessness to survive in a lawless situation. (That is meant as a compliment.)

        4. avatar matt says:

          lol

      2. avatar Phil Pistol says:

        There have been more shootings and murders in the Chicago area than the number of our solders lost or wounded in Afganistan during the same time period.

  2. avatar Aharon says:

    Very interesting piece. Eventually the people living in and around Chicago will wake up to the reality that the politicians and top cops are only concerned with being egomaniacs and power tripping as the Lords of Chicago over the people. The people will recognize that the safety and survival of the private citizens is not a concern to their leaders since the leaders can’t or won’t protect the people and do keep them in bondage from protecting themselves. Unarmed defenseless sheep are easy prey for wolves. A few guard dogs can’t protect a huge sheep herd the size of Chicagoland from an invading Army of wolves.

    Whether it is an issue of matching a city’s limited incoming revenue with a non-matching excessively large city budgets producing debts from loans, or matching the number of violent criminals with inadequate police forces and protection possibilities, politicians just can’t admit it that their ideas lack common sense and are failures.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      I wonder what the words I used in my above para were that caused a multi-hour delay in posting my comment?

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        The WordPress spam filter has its mysteries. Sorry for the delay.

        1. avatar Aharon says:

          Things happen.

  3. avatar BLAMMO says:

    The police can prevent crime. They cannot prevent crimes.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      Blammo, I know you are trying to say something more here than just what your words say, but I’m not understanding whatever it is. (probably my fault.) I think it is important, but I’m not getting it.

      Can you explain what you’re trying to say, please.

      1. avatar Kelly in GA says:

        Good police work can prevent crime (as in, clamp down on bad areas). They can’t prevent individual crimes, though.

        Maybe I’m close?

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    If there’s no collateral damage, Rahm should be happy that the thugs in Chicago are killing each other. Okay, it might make for nasty headlines in the Tribune, but who really gives a sh!t about the Latin Kings and the Vice Lords? Chicago should pick a side, arm it and watch while their chosen gang bumps off all the other contenders. That’s the ATF’s strategy in Mexico, and look how well it’s working.

    1. avatar matt says:

      Blacks have been taking their shit to down town and upper class neighborhoods with mob attacks against whites.

      http://www.wgnradio.com/news/local/breaking/chi-man-beaten-in-near-north-neighborhood-11-arrested-20120705,0,7410301.story

      And others at
      — 42 E. Adams on June 20 at 1:50 a.m.
      — 71 W. Van Buren on June 21 at 1:15 a.m.
      — 180 N. Wabash on June 26 at 11:40 p.m.
      — 160 N. Wells on June 30 at 12:43 a.m.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      The Latin Kings are much more disciplined than the black gangs. They are much more discriminating in how they use violence. Latino gangs act more like the traditional Irish, Italian and Jewish gangs of the early Twentieth Century.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        . . . and we all know how disciplined the Westies, Murder Incorporated and the Gemini Lounge crew were.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          discipline is a relative thing.

          My dad was a cab driver in the late twenties/early thirties. One evening hee was first in line at a cab stand when he got a phone call. When he got to the call box the line was dead and he saw the cabbie behind him drive off with a fare. He was pissed off right up until the next morning when he read the Trib story that a the driver and his fare were found dead on Manheim Road. The guys who did the hit cut him break because he wasn’t involved. The Latin Kings would do the same today. A black gang would just shoot everybody in sight at the cab stand.

    3. avatar CarlosT says:

      There’s always collateral damage though. It’s not like these guys are careful shooters.

      1. avatar matt says:

        Reopen the ranges at schools and teach them how to shoot. I know the rifle range at Evanston Township High School still existed as of the early 2000s, god knows the last time it was in use.

    4. avatar John Fritz says:

      Chicago should pick a side, arm it and watch while their chosen gang bumps off all the other contenders.

      Hey, wait a minute. This reminds me of something. Umm, Foamy and Fastidious? Or Frumpy and Fulcrum… Don’t know where I’m getting this. 😉

      1. avatar Greg Camp says:

        Dumb and Spurious?

  5. avatar Joseph says:

    Chicago is the quintessential city for demonstrating what expanded government programs and limited citizen’s rights can do for one’s standard of living.

    1. avatar John says:

      Fantastic summation of the situation.

    2. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      I thought that was Detroit?

  6. avatar Mike OFWG says:

    And Chicago is one of the progressives model cities. If they ran one city, just one, that worked, I’d like to know about it.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      You’re right.

      What no one wants to point out, because no one wants to deal with the race-baiting poverty pimps, is the racial component of these “progressive paradises.”

      Modern urban black culture is a cesspool. There are no acts so depraved that modern urban black culture will draw a line and say “This, we will not do.”

      Moreover, there are no acts so depraved in modern black urban culture that the liberal intellectuals won’t twist themselves into pretzels justifying and defending such actions.

      We can postulate that if good citizens in these areas were allowed to own and use firearms in their defense, that crime would go down. I’m no longer certain of that. In some of these urban areas infested with modern black ghetto culture, civilization has simply ceased to exist. Oh, the trappings of civilization are there – running water, indoor plumbing, paved streets, etc… but the ethos and ethics of civilization ceased to exist a generation ago.

      1. avatar matt says:

        Modern urban black culture is a cesspool.

        We can postulate that if good citizens in these areas were allowed to own and use firearms in their defense, that crime would go down. I’m no longer certain of that.
        As I mentioned above, it would help whitey defend himself from mob attacks. Although chances are those targeted arent the type to carry.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          True.

          And thanks for putting up that video. It, uh, really made my day.

          Sigh.

    2. avatar Paul says:

      The last I knew the commie-libs in Burlington Vt. were running a crime free city. Or at least thats what they want you to believe. Crime has gotten much worse where ever the commie libs are in charge.

      1. avatar Greg Camp says:

        I’d take Vermont’s carry laws everywhere, though.

  7. avatar krazrn says:

    There is an economic solution. Dry up the money supply of criminal organizations. LEGALIZE DRUGS.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      Gang violence was just as bad in 1960s and 1970s when the mafia had complete control of the drug trade. Gang violence is a product of social disorder not the legality of a particular commodity. If they weren’t killing each other over drugs then they would kill each other over something else.
      The mafia didn’t stop killing each other when prohibition ended. Why would you think that legalized drugs will lead to sweetness and light in the ghetto/

      1. avatar matt says:

        I always thought they killed each other more over disrespect and to a lesser extent territory than business. Their parents really just need to be sterilized, that would solve a lot of the problems in time. Too bad eugenics got such a bad rap after Hitler. I guess the best we can hope for is to stop pinning food stamps and tax credits to how many children you have.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          If the US practiced eugenics, you might not be here. 🙂

      2. avatar CarlosT says:

        And they’re killing each other for what, recreational purposes? No, it’s about money, specifically the money to be made in an illegal market, and illegal markets always generate violence. Before Prohibition, makers and distributors of alcohol had no more reason to kill each other than the normal person. During Prohibition, there was a huge surge of violence around the making and distributing of alcohol. After Prohibition, everything went back to normal.

        It’ll be the same way with drugs. Once the illegal market is replaced with a legal one, there won’t be any killing around the production and distribution of the product.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          It is a popular misconception that the gangland violence of the Twenties was about Prohibition. It was about a fight between the rising Italian and Jewish mobs, and the established Irish gangs. The violence did not abate after prohibition ended.
          Much of gangland violence is about honor and not money.

          Tell me why did mob control gambling and prostitution in Nevada? It is legal there.

        2. avatar DaveM says:

          In Southern California the little homies are killing for street creds, the money is secondary

        3. avatar tdiinva says:

          It is a myth that Prohibition was responsible for the gangland violence during the twenties and early thirties. The violence was a result of the rise of the Italio-Jewish mob at the expense of the Irish who until just after WWI controlled organized crime. There was no decline in mob violence after Prohibition ended. Organized crime controlled legalized gambling and prostitution in Nevada for years. A commodity or service doesn’t have to be illegal for criminals to dominate or exploit it.

          During the 1970s there something called the “Cheese Wars.” The Mafia went after the pizza cheese market in the Midwest and the Northeast. If you didn’t buy their cheese they burned your place down. The mob even went after the A&P company which being a major corporation fought back.

          There is no reason to believe that legalizing drugs will do anything to change the social conditions that lead to gangs and gang violence among African-Americans. If anything, legalizing drugs will have the perverse effect in the Ghetto of increasing crime because getting sent up for drug possession is to the inner gang banger what income tax evasion was to Al Capone. It’s how you get them off the street.

        4. avatar BeninMA says:

          I also have a problem with a drug policy that allows law enforcement to conduct armed raids on people’s homes. It’s the most extreme example of the nanny state, which Republican politicians like to say they’re against. (Of course, Ron Paul and some others actually are against the drug war.)

        5. avatar matt says:

          @tdiinva
          You dont go to jail for drug possession unless you have a shit ton. You go to lock up for 4 – 8 hours and released on a recognizance bond. The Cook County States Attorneys office wont even take small possession cases to trial, just because there are too many. Look at California, they have so many people in jail, there is a court order for them to reduce their prison population.

        6. avatar BeninMA says:

          “If anything, legalizing drugs will have the perverse effect in the Ghetto of increasing crime because getting sent up for drug possession is to the inner gang banger what income tax evasion was to Al Capone. It’s how you get them off the street.”

          In other countries, laws against handgun possession are “how you get them off the street.”

        7. avatar Ralph says:

          Let’s just legalize crime and be done with it.

        8. avatar BeninMA says:

          Ralph: “Legalize Freedom” is probably the better slogan.

  8. avatar Air Force TSgt says:

    Just one more example in a long list of why gun control does not work.

  9. avatar LeftShooter says:

    My question is when they conduct the gang “audits,” do they count the CPD as a gang?

  10. avatar BeninMA says:

    I don’t think Newport Beach got the memo on community policing:

    http://youtu.be/w_rKA6ROAVk

    1. avatar matt says:

      That video looks accurate, there is a cop choking a guy face down on the ground while yelling stop resisting, while the “suspect” is tapping out.

  11. avatar Joe says:

    Let’s not forget that awhile ago, people of all colors worked hard to put food on the table, clothes on their backs, a roof over their heads. Their energy was channeled in productive ways. Now punks hang out at a corner all day or their mom’s house. Their sense of entitlement make them scoff at taking a job because it doesn’t “pay enough” – forget the fact that they have no skills and no work ethic. Apologists for these punks ask, “How much violence and crime would there be if there wasn’t welfare and food stamps?”

  12. avatar FillyourhandsyouSOB! says:

    If IL is anything like MI, the problem with the civilians arming and policing themselves in Chicago, as in Detroit, is that many the victims of crime are low income residents who can’t afford the firearms class, can’t afford the cost to apply for a CCW and can’t afford to purchase a pistol, and the process takes forever. I think that shipment of M-16s going to Coon Rapids, MN needs to be diverted to Chicago.

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